Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

I’m feeling more than a bit perturbed that an entire month has seemingly passed without my noticing! Who stole August? Give it back IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

Inevitably, we’re hurtling towards the silly season (but I’ll try not to use the ‘C’ word just yet); various magazines are beginning to focus on all things festive and I’ve even noticed little packs of cards and wrapping paper appearing in the local shops and supermarkets. It’s not time to panic at the moment but I feel the pressure is now well and truly on to start getting creative 😦

So, on this penultimate day of the month I’m going to take a quick look at some fibre based fun that may inspire you to have a go at making some early presents for that special day in December and also give you a few links to places you might like to visit from the comfort of your own armchair for some essential stocking filler purchases that’ll help you avoid the usual rush of shoppers as the date draws ever near 😉

I was thrilled at how my first ever attempt at needle felting in 3D turned out!

Have you tried needle felting? It’s great fun! Although I’ve used it many times as a technique for embellishing flat surfaces in the past, I resolved to have a go at making something in 3D for the first time way back in January; It was surprisingly easy and I was delighted with the finished results considering it was my first ever attempt at it……

Needle felted bear – Such a cutie!

For a little bit of an introduction to the art of needle felting I suggest that you follow this link: http://www.thesilverpenny.com/freeprojectneedlefelting.html

A general search on Google will reveal further resources 😉

But if it’s needle felted goodies with a difference that you’re after I would urge you to pay a visit to my good friend Emma Dolan: http://www.emmadolan.co.uk/

A friend since High School, she cleverly uses techniques such as machine needle felting to recreate classic ceramic designs with a modern twist in her fascinating Harris Tweed creations and has given me a boost on more than one occasion when my confidence has flagged slightly. She also loves camper vans; I can’t praise her highly enough 😉

Seventies Inspired Heaven!

Hornsea Pottery inspired Harris Tweed lampshades – Emma Dolan at Weetwood Studios.

Still on the subject of felting fun…….. How about making felted fabric for yourself?

The humble washing machine can be a great help in this task…….

There were plenty of tears and a huge hissy fit when I accidentally turned my Favourite BODEN sweater in to a piece of felt in a washing machine hiccup 😉

……Just make sure that what you’re doing is intentional – the above plush heart was crafted from felt that I’d inadvertantly made after a bit of an accidental laundry incident. Good job it turned out OK in the end…….

Wash day disasters aside, making felted fabric by placing a knitted item (you need to have used pure wool rather than a man made yarn) in a hot wash is a fascinating form of crafting alchemy I’d heartily recommend you have a go at trying for yourself……

Hand knitted bags which have been felted by placing on a hot wash cycle.

The resulting felted fabric looks fabulous!

Then there’s the more traditional way of wet felting……

My friend Lucy Bowring has made a great little tutorial on how to do this:

http://www.georgeandlilly.co.uk/page_1709211.html

She makes the most gorgeous things – It’s well worth taking a look at the rest of her website if you have a spare moment or don’t fancy trying wet felting for yourself but would love to buy some ready made goodies instead.

Lucy Bowring at The Plum Tree.

Alternatively, you could take a peek here: http://www.corinnelapierre.co.uk/

Another local feltmaker that makes many wonderful things and also produces some fabulous little crafting kits that would make great gifts for your loved ones…..

Corinne Lapierre – At Weetwood Studios, 2011

Plenty of gift ideas for lovely little stocking fillers.

Phew! That lot should keep you busy for a while whilst I get on with a few of my latest projects……..

Hand knitted headband – A great little gift for a newborn now that Summer’s coming to an end but it’s still too warm for a hat.

Hand Crocheted Barefoot Sandals/Foot Thongs – Perfect for beach weddings, dance, yoga, festivals etc…. 😉

Plenty of stuff to keep me busy too. Mmmmmmmnnnnnnn…….. But a note to self – Must probably stop using zombie feet and skulls as photo props and resolve to find something more mainstream and slightly less disturbing instead …… 😉

Oh well! Next week see the start of a new month and a new theme; Until then, Happy Crafting Folks!

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OK. It’s week one of my take on the ’52 crafts in 52 weeks’ project and I’ve chosen to start with something I’m fairly familiar with; albeit a bit rusty at the moment.

This month’s theme is of course ‘Paper’, so I’m setting the ball rolling with a spot of decoupage. For those of you who may never have heard of this before, it’s basically centred around the creative art of cutting out, assembling, pasting and (sometimes) varnishing paper to make decorative objects. With it, you can give furniture a new boost of life, create fabulous greetings cards, 3D pictures etc and generally make all sorts of wonderful stuff for your home .

Fantastic results can be obtained fairly easily and it’s also a great activity to carry out with children when the weather’s vile outside and they’re climbing the walls inside 😉

Here’s a few examples of it in it’s simplest form, but you can make it as complex as you wish.

Bangles courtesy of Becky Decoupage 

Mickey Mouse Side Table by Bombus

In the past, when I’ve had a go at decoupage, I’ve tended to use it to make 3D pictures and greetings cards. This involves using multiple repeat images to build up layers which are then stuck one on top of the other. In each layer, you focus on different elements of the image and cut them out to build up the final piece – Silicone glue, or foam sticky pads also help to give depth to the image and this really helps to make it ‘pop out’ from the page once everything is stuck in place.

Sound difficult? Opt for a technique such as pyramage and it’s simplicity itself!

Here I’ve cut a series of graded rectangular pieces from repeat images of a gorgeous flower powered bug and used sticky pads to hold everything in place and give a raised pyramid effect.

Flower Power Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

And here, I’ve used graded squares which gently twist round to create a slightly different effect.

Twisted Pyramage VW Beetle by Big Blue Bully Bus

Here’s an example of a more traditional piece of decoupage that I’ve just created – you can buy ready printed, pre-cut sheets if you want but I prefer to make my own. Only thing is I still need to find time to cut the pieces out and stick it all together!

Email me at bigbluebullybus@yahoo.co.uk and I’ll mail the full PDF to you if you’d like to have a go at making it too 😉

VW Bug PDF by The Big Blue Bully Bus

Phew! Blog post and first craft nearly over – just another 51 to go!!!!

Finally, here’s a little list of things that I’ve copied from Wikipedia that you might find useful if you want to have a go at decoupage for yourself:

  • Something to decoupage onto. Examples include: furniturephotograph albums, plates, ceramics, shelving, frames, mirrors.
  • Pictures to decoupage with. These can come from myriad sources: newspapersmagazinescatalogues, books, printed clip art, wrapping paper, greeting cardsfabrictissue paperlace.
  • Cutting utensil. Scissors, craft knife (X-Acto) or razor blades can be used.
  • Glue. Standard white glue works best if it is diluted with a little water. Specialty glues can be found in most crafting stores.
  • Smoother. Popsicle sticks work well. A brayer is a specialized tool like a miniature rolling pin designed to help remove wrinkles, remove excess glue and smooth pictures.
  • Glue spreader. Many things around the house can be use for this: cotton swabspaint brushes, sponges.
  • Rags, sponges, tissue paper to help wipe up glue and other clean up.
  • Sealer. Glue or other decoupage medium can be used as a sealer. Alternatively, polyurethane, spray acrylic or other lacquers are usually used.

Why not have a go yourself? It’s fairly inexpensive and great fun!